Development through education: an integrated program
by Rao, Y.

Produced by: Global Development Network (GDN) , 2004

This project was submitted for the Global Development Awards: Most Innovative Development Project Competition 2004.

Multigrade teaching is a fact of primary schooling in India. Most States are still struggling to achieve the national norm of two classrooms and two teachers, and a teacher pupil ratio of 1: 40 in every school. With very few exceptions in a few States and metros, government schools in India continue to have two teachers for five classes. Rural schools are therefore largely multigrade multilevel classes. Though multigrade is the widely prevalent form of schooling in India, there have been very few serious attempts to handle the problem with adequate methods and materials. Such schools, therefore, work under major constraints. These include:
Consequently, the foundation knowledge and skills in Language and Mathematics are not well mastered, leading to unsatisfactory rates of transition and completion in primary school.

Rishi Valley Institute for Educational Resources (RIVER) is an integrated program in education, conservation and health care in one of the poorest regions of India which has become a model for educating the rural poor in several states of India. About twenty-five thousand schools across the country use the multi-grade methodology pioneered by RIVER, including formal state schools, and non-formal schools run by NGO groups.

RIVER also embarked on a project involving large scale implementation of the RIVER methodology in 12,000 schools across 10 states in the country. This project is supported by Government of India and UNICEF. RIVER has also begun extending support to other countries for implementing the Multi Grade Multi Level methodology.

The successful adaptation of the RIVER methodology in very diverse cultural and socio-economic contexts in India is seen as a major achievement for an educational programme in the difficult conditions of a developing economy.

GDN Library Info

Activity: Global Development Awards: Most Innovative Development Project
Activity Year: 2004, January 2004

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